Thursday, April 18, 2024

Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk: Fight card, odds, date, rumors, latest news, location, complete guide

With Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk set to meet in a bout to determine the first undisputed heavyweight heavyweight champion of the four-belt era, the rest of the card likely wouldn’t matter much in drawing attention. Despite that, the Feb. 17 card from Saudi Arabia has been loaded up with meaningful battles.

Both men enter the fight off of scares in their 2023 campaigns, with Usyk being dropped by Daniel Dubois only for the referee to rule the shot a low blow and allow Usyk time to recover. He then stopped Dubois in Round 9. Fury was forced into a much tougher spot in October when his undefeated record barely survived a fight with former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. Ngannou scored a knockdown and did enough to win plenty of rounds, though Fury ultimately took a split decision victory. While Fury’s title was not on the line, a loss would have been even more embarrassing than narrowly escaping with a win in a fight he was expected to dominate.

In addition to the long-awaited clash between Fury and Usyk, there are two other world title fights set for the card. Jai Opetaia (24-0, 19 KO) and Mairis Briedis (28-2, 20 KO), both former cruiserweight champions, will clash over the IBF cruiserweight title in a rematch. Opetaia and Briedis were supposed to meet for over one year as Opetaia held the IBF belt, but injuries kept the fight from coming together. In December, the IBF stripped Opetaia of the title for fighting Ellis Zorro on the undercard of the heavyweight supershow in Saudi Arabia headlined by Anthony Joshua vs. Otto Wallin as they wanted Opetaia to wait to fight Briedis instead.

The IBF then ordered Briedis to fight Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez for the vacant belt, only for Ramirez to instead schedule a bout with Arsen Goulamirian for the WBA belt in March, leading all the way back around to Opetaia vs. Briedis. The only real impact of the IBF stripping Opetaia was the IBF missing out on a sanctioning fee for the Zorro fight.

Opetaia won the IBF belt for the first time when he defeated Briedis. He made one successful defense of the belt before being stripped. Due to injuries, Briedis has not fought since the July 2022 loss to Opetaia.

In the other title fight on the card, Joe Cordina (17-0, 9 KO) will defend his IBF super featherweight championship against Anthony Cacace (21-1, 7 KO). Cordina won the belt in June 2022 with a Knockout of the Year contender over Kenichi Ogawa but was stripped due to injury. He defeated Shavkat Rakhimov to regain the title this past April with a split decision and retained the belt with a majority decision win over Edward Vazquez in November.

Cacace is ranked No. 9 by the IBF and holds the IBO title — not recognized as a legitimate world title — and enters the fight riding a six-fight winning streak.

Also on the card, former light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (35-4-1, 29 KO) will fight for just the second time in the past four years against Robin Sirwan Safar (16-0, 12 KO) in what is expected to be a cruiserweight bout.

Fury vs. Usyk fight card

  • Tyson Fury (c) -135 vs. Oleksandr Usyk (c) +115, undisputed heavyweight championship
  • Jai Opetaia vs. Mairis Briedis, vacant IBF cruiserweight championship
  • Joe Cordina (c) vs. Anthony Cacace, IBF super featherweight championship
  • Sergey Kovalev vs. Robin Sirwan Safar, cruiserweight
  • Isaac Lowe vs. Hasibullah Ahmadi, featherweight
  • David Nyika vs. TBA, cruiserweight
  • Bakhodir Jalolov vs. TBA, heavyweight
  • Moses Itauma vs. TBA, heavyweight

Viewing information

  • Date: Feb. 17
  • Location: Kingdom Arena — Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Start time: TBD  
  • How to watch: TBD

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